The imagination of an imminent liberation by way of scriptwriting, music, poetry, dance, and other forms of art is not an act of naïve hopefulness but a deliberate stance against notions of fatalism and impossibilism that only further the aspirations of caste elites. To imagine “what can be” from the midst of oppression and absurdity is a sign of the creative power of Dalit agency. Dalit imagination is an affirmation of Dalit humanity and agency even as it transcends the limits set by caste brutalization.
If shows like Indian Matchmaking want to showcase narratives of dominant-caste men, may they be narratives of discomfort, repentance, and accountability, and not one of pride and honor because we know all too well that endogamy, seen in Indian Matchmaking, is about preserving caste honor, and honor-based killings, witnessed in Sairat, is about reclaiming caste honor.
What depraved reasoning caused these devilish men to make a political statement by raping a child? What morbid fascination caused these bestial men to clout the head of a little child?
The narrative of David and Bathsheba has for long captured the imagination of all peoples. Despite the sequence of events in this narrative, most of us still consider David as “the man after God’s own heart.” However, it was this man that brought disaster upon a home and sowed the seed of hatred and violence that ended up permeating his very home. We have conveniently embraced the ‘mighty’ and ‘powerful’ David, and perhaps even uncritically, the ‘repentant’ David. The challenge before us is to do away with the rhetoric of the ‘manly,’ ‘victorious’ and ‘mighty’ David. We must stop defending David, the libertine.
The women out there in the field are confronting the phenomena of masculinization where cricket and other sports has been masculinized, where press meetings and conferences has been masculinized, where public spaces and social forums has been masculinized, and where even our consciences has been masculinized.